Always generous, always thoughtful and always immaculately styled, I feel very lucky to call Vanessa a friend. In the years we’ve known each other I’ve often sought her opinion and advice as someone with impeccable taste and a great sense of humour (as you’ll see below). Vanessa and her dapper partner Brenton are pet parents to Humphrey Smith 4, a gorgeous Golden Retriever. I was eager to find out Vanessa's beauty and hair tips (she has the most incredible glossy hair) not to mention her favourite spots to hang out with Humphrey who has a rather hilarious Instagram @humphrey.smith
1. What do you love about being a mama to your fur baby?
I could be away for a whole day or just a minute and he’s still bursting with love and excitement to see me. Also, his personality and mannerisms are split so perfectly between me and his daddy that it feels like we somehow actually share the same genes.
2. What made you decide to get a dog?
We had moved into a house which was about to be completely renovated so it was the perfect time for a puppy to kick off the demolition engineering.
3. Why did you call him Humphrey?
We named him after Humphrey Bogart which was fitting because he loves a good drink - but bone broth, not whisky which would have been a much cooler anecdote.
4. What are your favourite dog-friendly parks for walkies?
Humphrey has been frequenting the Royal Hospital for Women dog park in Paddington since he was a puppy, so he acts like he owns the place.
5. What are Humphreys favourite toys?
He loves all his toys but gives special attention to his elephant, octopus, and chicken – respectively named Elefante De La Cruz, Polpo, and Poulet. We also never leave home without a tennis ball.
6. Where are your favourite places to go with your fur baby in Sydney, restaurants, cafes, beaches etc.?
Humphrey’s first-ever outing was to our local café, Paddington Alimentari, and he’s now a well-known regular. He’s also a keen swimmer and bodysurfer so we love The Spit in Mosman and Putty Beach in Killcare. One of our favourite restaurants, Franca, lets you dine inside with your dog while you sneak pieces of steak to him under the table.
7. Where’s Humphreys favourite spot at home?
On our bed especially when there are fresh sheets, and the Minotti sofas when we’re not looking.
8. Where do you get Humphrey groomed?
Humphrey self grooms as he hates being dirty, but when he starts smelling like old seaweed we wash him at the Crystal dog wash station and have our car cleaned at the same time.
9. Where is your favourite place to vacation with Humphrey?
Anywhere there’s a beautiful house on a beach; we love staying in some spectacular houses in Killcare, Gerroa, and the Mornington Peninsula.
10. What are your go-to beauty products and any favourite brands?
At any given time you can be assured of at least four layers of serums, creams and makeup on my face. I love Tatcha’s Water Cream for day and Medik8 r-Retinoate Intense cream at night because I can’t rely on the goodwill of my Asian genes forever. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation, Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, and blushes by Nars or Becca are essential otherwise people ask if I’m unwell.
11. How do you manage to stay in shape?
If only walking Humphrey twice a day was enough exercise but sadly it is not. I go to Flow Athletic for MetCon (Metabolic Conditioning) classes and Reformer Pilates which have really helped me to become stronger and healthier. I’d look even better if I could give up eating hot chips.
12. What's your signature style when walking Humphrey?
I’m usually wearing inappropriate dog walking clothes like white jeans or long linen dresses with gold jewellery and white sneakers; my wardrobe isn’t separated into categories so I’ll wear the same pieces to work, to dinner, on weekends, or to take Humphrey out for a wee. I prefer to shop online at Net-a-Porter, Moda Operandi and Matches, with some Zara thrown in. I adore heels but they’re not a good combination with Humphrey as he lunges without warning at birds so I’ve developed an appreciation for sneakers. And the one thing I always have when I’m out with Humphrey is a Gucci or YSL crossbody to hold the essential poo bags, treat bribes and tennis ball.
Vanessa wears Love Letters V necklace in 18k solid yellow gold.